(Continuing on in a series of posts about the ideation process; see part 1 HERE)
On to step 2, pre-production.
Good pre-production is absolutely crucial to any sized project. The more time and effort that is put into pre-production, the easier a project will go. Not that you won’t have challenges, but the more things that you can plan for in advance, the better off you will be at each step of the process. Simply put, pre-production encompasses anything that needs to be done before you get into shooting and editing. This can include any number of steps:
Planning Meeting(s) – Whenever possible, get everyone who will have a hand in the project together on one room with a blank white board or at least a big empty notebook. Figure out what needs to be done and what kind of deadlines need to be established. Then, figure out who will be responsible for each of the steps. A written record of the meeting(s) helps keep people accountable for their part in getting things done.
Scripting – This can dialog between actors or a list of questions that you will ask a subject.
Shot Sheet – This is a list of camera shots that you know you will want to have in the post-production process. Get creative! Consider the different angles that you will want; get up high or down low… think about getting shots that are unlike ones that you have done in the past. It’s a good idea to always have plenty of room to add more to this list as you go; it’s always so much easier to get shots when you’re out than to wish that you had them once you’re editing.
Location Scouting – Unless you already have a specific place designated to shoot, you will have to go out and find somewhere suitable. Your location can be a very important factor in how your story is told. (If you’re interested, I have another post about scouting HERE). As you’re looking for the right location, several things need to be considered: Lighting, sound, availability, you might need a permit (or at least proper permission), and so on.
This is hardly an exhaustive list; it can be bigger or smaller depending on the size or scope of your project.
Thumbnail of pre-production in my current project: I started by meeting with our Student Ministries pastors and we began to map out how to best execute a good series bumper and hopefully a couple of teases that could begin running two weeks before the series begins as well as links so that students could post these videos on various social networking outlets so that they could help promote the series to their friends. Our high school pastor took on the task of casting and seeing if we could shoot things at a local high school to give things a common school look (It worked! We were able to secure 2 days of shooting in a high school hall way!). I would be responsible for scripting and completing the shot sheet, as well as the editing process. We set deadlines: things would need to be shot no later than September 10th so that I would have at least the following week to get things edited. The first tease will run during the regular youth service on September 22. We’re off and running!
(Click HERE for part 3)